For a long time there was a fanatical rivalry between the fans of Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. It even carried over to taking sides with the fighters promotional companies.
Mayweather was signed to Al Haymon and currently PBC (Premier Boxing Championship) and Manny Pacquiao was Bob Arum and Top Rank’s golden goose.
Top Rank Fans would claim Haymon protected his fighters especially when he used Golden Boy promotions and HBO to land his fighters lucrative fights against lower ranked boxers. The Anti-Haymon crowd said he was just milking and taking advantage of Golden Boy and HBO without having his fighters take risks.
The Mayweather fans latched onto Haymon defending his every move and were convinced that Manny Pacquiao was a drug cheat and Bob Arum was protecting him from facing Mayweather.
A huge shake-up occurred in 2017 after Manny Pacquiao lost a controversial decision to Jeff Horn. Pacquiao the face of Top Rank for over a decade decided to cut ties with Arum and promote himself against Lucas Matthysse in Malaysia.
Pacquiao still used Top Rank to help distribute the fight Matthysse on ESPN + in the United States but the promotional banner was MP Promotions and Golden Boy (who was Lucas Matthysse promoter).
It was so common that every time Pacquiao’s contract with Top Rank was nearing its end he would wind up resigning with them. This time it wasn’t the case he decided to go on his own and parted ways amicably with the company.
Some say the move was too little to late since he is well past his best years and is on the verge of retirement. Most boxers retire before 40, the ones who do fight on into their 40’s or even early 50’s usually are special breeds like Bernard Hopkins who had some of his greatest victories in his 40’s or they lost all their money and have to continue fighting to make ends meet.
I strongly believe Pacquiao is cut from the same cloth as a Bernard Hopkins a special athlete who takes care of himself and is crafty enough to compete with the younger guys. There are rumors out there that he is fighting because he needs the money, but I honestly believe he has three or four more good fights before calling it quits.
The unexpected news that Manny Pacquiao signed to Arum’s rival Al Haymon left people shocked. The Pacquiao fans and Top Rank loyalists who spent years bashing that side, had to come to grips with the news. Many of them stayed radio silent, while others turned on the Filipino Senator and expressed disgust saying Haymon was just going to use him and throw him in as a stepping stone.
I personally believe Haymon signing Pacquiao is not a move to help build up his younger talent but to grow his promotional and business ventures outside of the USA to the Philippines and Asia.
Haymon is looking long-term possibilities.
Pacquiao stated his deal with Haymon also includes helping him promote boxing in the Philippines. So they have a mutual benefit. Haymon will add some young up and coming Filipino talent to his stable and Pacquiao will use Haymon first before any other promoter to do so.
Another aspect is if Pacquiao becomes the President of the Philippines this will add a very powerful relationship to Haymon’s phone book. Haymon isn’t just a boxing promoter he is a concert promoter as well, he has tapped into all aspects of entertainment.
The Philippines has the potential to be a hotbed for tourism, they have casinos and cleaned up some of the beaches and resorts.
Haymon can host concerts in the country and having a powerful friendship with the future President could be worth more than using Pacquiao as a stepping stone to build up younger fighters which is what Arum was likely using Pacquiao for.
Haymon doesn’t look at Pacquiao as a washed up fighter that he can exploit and just throw with the young lions to build up his stable, that is something Arum does. Arum only runs boxing events, while Haymon has more avenues such as music and entertainment.
Signing Pacquiao is a huge move for his reach into the Asian market, and its also a big move for Manny Pacquiao, this time he aligned himself with someone who has his best interest and wants to do mutual business with him outside of the ring.
If Pacquiao was still under Top Rank they would have kept tossing him in there with their younger fighters to see who can knock him out and create a name off him or who gets the next gift decision to try to pass the torch.
Manny Pacquiao finally realized after the Jeff Horn robbery that he was being used, his loyalty was not respected and when that happens you move on.
Let’s hope this Haymon and Pacquiao partnership produces many wonderful fights for boxing in the future.